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But I'd like to take my stream like conversations back to a simple, open, distributed (in the sense of server control) protocol like SMTP and away from Facebook Messenger (for example).

It's just a bit of message passing, why should email NOT also handle multiple participants and almost-real-time conversations well?

Twitter is a different beast, it's a public stream, but what does FB messenger offer over email, other than an improved user experience? (for some value of improved...)

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